Insurers face up to $4.5 billion in claims after the costliest severe storm period on record in Europe during the month of June, according to a catastrophe report from Aon.

Western and Central Europe experienced a significant and prolonged stretch of severe weather from 17-25 June, primarily affecting the Czech Republic, Germany, France, Switzerland and Austria.

The deadliest component of the outbreak was a powerful F4 tornado that left devastating impacts in the Czech region of South Moravia. Six people were killed by the twister, the strongest in the country’s modern record. Widespread hail, wind and flood damage also affected many other parts of Europe, with the total insured impact anticipated to exceed $3.4 billion and overall losses reaching even higher.

Severe weather returned to Central Europe on 28-30 June. Large hail was the predominant driver of damage in central Switzerland and Austria, while many parts of Germany experienced flooding.

Total aggregated insurance impacts from the SCS outbreaks in June constitute the costliest stretch of severe weather in European history and fifth costliest globally, with combined losses preliminarily estimated by the national insurance sectors at $4.5 billion, surpassing the previous European record of $4.3 billion set by storm Andreas in 2013. 

Insurers in Austria, Switzerland and the Czech Republic recorded their costliest stretches of severe weather on record, while Germany experienced the second costliest. 

Michal Lörinc, senior catastrophe analyst for Aon’s Impact Forecasting team, said: “The extended stretch of severe weather in the second half of June across Western and Central Europe featured very large hail, flash floods, and one of the most intense tornadoes recorded in the recent European record. Multi-billion-dollar insured thunderstorm outbreaks are not regularly common in Europe, but they can and do happen.”